About This 1962 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL
Posted: 13 Oct 2003
Real Glamour Never Dies: 1962 Mercedes Benz 190SL
Grace Kelly drove one, in the movie 'High Society.' So did Rosemarie Nitribitt, post-war Germany's most famous callgirl. The alluring sex goddesses were worshipped by countless admirers, just like their elegant and sporty mode of transportation, the sensational Mercedes Benz 190SL Roadster. The enduring beauty of this milestone car--launched 49 years ago, in 1954--has catapulted it right into the hearts--and garages--of enthusiasts around the globe.
Since even the youngest 190SLs are at least 40 years old by now, the search for a nice example can prove to be a frustrating undertaking. Most available SLs are either fully restored 'trailer queens' carrying outrageous price tags, or project cars needing something here, there, and everywhere.
Rarely will one find a survivor in the true meaning of the term: a car that has always lovingly been taken care of, one that has been meticulously maintained and detailed on a frequent basis. A car that has been treated like a favorite child, the owner taking on the function of a caretaker, instead of just being the 'end user.'
The 1962 Mercedes 190SL presented for auction here, VIN *121012-10-823133*, is one of those much-coveted survivors. A California resident all of its life, it has only had two owners during 41 years, travelling a grand total of 87,559 miles. After 17 years of happy ownership, the second owner is retiring from the City of Fullerton and moving to Alaska to be with her beloved Huskies. The nice Lady did not want to subject her pride and joy to an unsuitable climate and thus decided to sell 'Baby Rose,' as she affectionately called her SL.
Baby Rose has never needed a restoration. Wear items were replaced by her conscientious owner on an 'as needed' basis. When her original paint became dull, Baby Rose was professionally repainted, in her original Glacier White (color code G50). What counts most is that the car's priceless integrity has been preserved. Old cars do have a soul, believe it or not.
On any old car, especially unit-construction automobiles like our Mercedes Roadster, it's the condition of the body that's most important. A car needing extensive metal repair is always a poor choice and should be avoided, if at all possible.
Luckily, Baby Rose's undercarriage is perfectly rust free and smooth as a baby's behind. A picture tells more than a thousand words, they say.
We've added two.
Engine compartment presents itself stock-looking. Cognoscenti will note the pair of original SOLEX dual-throat carburetors, still feeding the explosive juice to the--matching numbers--engine. This Bauernmaschine is a prime example of a suberbly maintained 190SL. engine. It starts, idles, and runs fabulous, with great oil pressure, and absolutely no tendency to overheat.
Best of all, it's neat and clean, even deep down there.
All body seams and gaps match extremely well. There are no signs of accidents, nor any rust. The paint finish, now 4 years old, holds up remarkably well, giving testimony to its quality. It is very glossy and without any major imperfections, such as dents or scratches.
Cockpit is a soothing sight for eyes that are tired of the new-millennium plastic crap spoiling the insides of even traditional marques like Aston Martin and Jaguar.
Almost a carbon copy of the race-bred 300SL's dash, the impressive array of chrome-bezeled gauges and switches looks fantastic.
Lipstick red upholstery is in excellent condition, and that includes the door panels and dash top. Salt-and-pepper carpeting is like new. Only distraction could be the newish stereo radio; we would be glad to replace it with a vintage unit upon request.
Large steering wheel is original and shows neat patina, giving it the look of antique ivory. Everything works, even the original KIENZLE 48-hour clock mounted to the glove box lid. Speaking of it, there's an Owner's Manual inside the glove box.
Another highlight is the chrome trim; it's all complete and in wonderful condition. Note the correct, chromed locking gas cap with the small Mercedes Benz logo.
Being a '62, Baby Rose can be operated in California with 'Year of Manufacture' plates such as the ones shown on the car (which are not included). Car comes with a clear California Certificate of Title and is currently registered for road use through August, 2004. Fly in, drive her home!
Trunk is clean and completely free of corrosion. Two-piece rubber trunk mat looks mint.
Original, date-coded spare and jacking equipment is included.
190SL drives exceedingly well, with firm steering, smooth shifting 4-speed transmission, good suspension and brakes. There are not many 41-year-old cars that are as confidence-inspiring as this Mercedes. Reliability and good looks in one attractive convertible package; what more could one ask for?
A phanopoeia of satisfying sights and sounds whose names are immanent swirl around Roadster driver and passenger. Yes, it actually is possible to go back in time, to that kinder, gentler place of sepia-toned photographs and hand-built sports cars.
Sibling of the race-bred 300SL, the 190SL carries a similarly fancy design, paired with utter reliability and unequalled parts availability, even today.
Baby Rose's black canvas convertible top presents itself in nicely preserved condition, but free of rips and defects, and equipped with shiny hardware throughout. A very nice and practical black canvas top boot is also included.
Every day, we die a little more to the World. Travelling in this vintage 190SL, we add a bit of class--even glamour--to the inevitable.
Who says youth is wasted on the young?
Specs & Details
Interior Color: red
Engine: 4 cyl
Miles Driven: 87,533
Sold For: $26,500
Laguna Beach, California, U.S.A.Portfolio
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